Samsung CEO does not seem to know how many Galaxy Folds have sold

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

During CES 2020, Samsung CEO DJ Koh updated reporters on sales figures for the Galaxy Fold, but he seemed unsure precisely how many units were sold.

"I think we've sold 400,000 to 500,000 Galaxy Fold smartphones," Koh told Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency.

The estimate seems somewhat ambiguous, considering Koh is in charge of Samsung's mobile division and should know the exact figures.

Last month, Samsung President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn claimed that the company had sold one million Galaxy Folds, shattering its self-appointed goal of 500,000 units by the end of 2019. To be clear, the company's original target was one million devices by year's end but was adjusted to half that because of the failed April launch that set back the release of the Fold until September.

A spokesperson later corrected Sohn, saying that he had confused the company's initial goal with actual sales — another faux pas that seemed like an attempt to generate hype. The spokesperson did not have an exact figure to correct Sohn's statement, and the company is remaining tight-lipped even with Koh's recent vague remark.

Perhaps Samsung does not want to admit that it missed its mark by as much as 100,000 units. Still, even 400,000 is a decent sales figure considering the device is $2,000 and is in a niche market that has yet to develop fully. It translates to $800 million in sales for a foldable smartphone that has had a very rocky launch, which isn't bad.

When review devices began breaking shortly before release, Samsung rightly canceled pre-orders and went back to the drawing board. However, the handling of the debacle from a PR standpoint has been a mess from the start with the company blaming the users and then continually being vague and misleading with consumers and the press about when the device would be ready.

Now that the Galaxy Fold has been out for a few months, the company is continuing its misleading (in Sohn's case) and vague (in Koh's) behavior about how the phone is doing. It seems likely we will have to wait until Samsung has to answer to investors to get any concrete figures.

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Shadowboxer

TS Maniac
So, this CEO has the balls to innovate and produce what is essentially a beta product and this article wants to criticise him for not remembering (or divulging) how many units have been sold of this product?

This man and Samsung should be praised for the innovation, I love the fold but I’m not going to buy one. I would however happily buy a folding device when it’s been improved in a few years and that wouldn’t happen without this.
 
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onestepforward

TS Booster
So, this CEO has the balls to innovate and produce what is essentially a beta product and this article wants to criticise him for not remembering (or divulging) how many units have been sold of this product?

This man and Samsung should be praised for the innovation, I love the fold but I’m not going to buy one. I would however happily buy a folding device when it’s been improved in a few years and that wouldn’t happen without this.
Praising a company for innovation and yet holding a CEO accountable for disingenuous comments are not inconsistent.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Any CEO that does not know the type and numbers of products he has sold is just silly and wholly irresponsible. Sounds like it's time for their board of directors to start searching for a new CEO.
 
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seeprime

TS Guru
Any CEO that does not know the type and numbers of products he has sold is just silly and wholly irresponsible. Sounds like it's time for their board of directors to start searching for a new CEO.
I think you might be assuming that the thousands of SKU's are easy to remember. It's not. He should have looked it up on a sales report, though, before he spoke. Otherwise, it's hubris.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
Honestly, this device looks so frail. I don't see what is the point except that it looks different. That's not enough to justify its price and it basically being in a beta stage. Phones being so big right now make this device harder to justify buying.
 

PEnnn

TS Maniac
Considering the black eye for the first disastrous release and failing sales for the new incarnation.......I think he'd just rather not know.
 
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poohbear

TS Evangelist
This phone was a big research and development project for Samsung Mobile, the CEO knows that and hence why he could care less how much they sold! It wasn't the point to make money on this product, they were doing R&D AND making money on it (they made $800 million in sales!!). Most companies spend millions in R&D and beta testing, yet here's Samsung MAKING money on R&D & beta testing. All the power to them!
 
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